Thinking about food from this place makes me drool, though I’m still full from dinner. We discovered this tiny Taiwanese restaurant in China Town by noticing its long queue outside. There are at least 3 or 4 other Chinese restaurants with vacancies next door but everyone seemed to be happy to queue up for this one. Obviously, it has something special to offer.

Indeed, the food served there is mouthwatering. After you’ve tasted it once, you are hooked. It’s authentic Chinese food. Not the oily or sugary stereo type.

With so many cooking shows on TV and increasing number of people becoming celebrity chefs, presentation appeared to be everything. You’d think only fancier restaurants with tasteful decorations are blog worthy. I have friends who would judge food’s taste by its price tag. But let’s not discriminate here:). Why so many people keep coming back and queuing to eat here or take away? Because its set meals and a large variety of side dishes.

The set meals usually consists of the traditional Taiwanese stewed pork rice with a main dish (pork, chicken, fish or vegetables). Adding just 1$ extra, you can either get a large cup of green tea or a big bowl of hot & sour soup. That’s the best hot and sour soup I’ve tasted in Sydney, very true to its traditional recipe.

Apart from the set meals, there are a selection of noodle dishes to choose from. I like them all but very often order the beef noodle soup because I’m a insatiable carnivore. Not only that, the soup itself deserves favoritism. If you don’t mind eating meat, try it and you’ll know what I mean.

cho dumpling king.

Clock wise: Tainwanese stew pork rice, fried chicken wings, beef noodle soup, smoke fish. Yep, the table is bright orange, no white table cloth. And it’s a bit wobbly too.

What keeps me coming back to this place is its variety of side dishes. There are a full window display of side cold dishes ranging from normal (e.g golden fried prawns, garlic cucumber salad etc) to weird and wonderful (pig ears, duck giblets…no chicken feet) to pick from. It depends on how adventurous you are with food. My favorite is the smoke fish as pictured above. At $4 (used to be $3.5) per plate, you can really taste as many flavors as you like in one sitting.

cho dumpling king

By now you might ask, so what’s the name of this restaurant? Truth be told, I only looked at it properly today, from some some crappy phone snaps: Cho Dumpling King. Hmmm. Does it serve dumplings? I don’t think so, at least not in the last couple of years since we started going regularly.

cho dumpling king 1

Menus are displayed on the window… with realistic pictures! You get what you see.

cho dumpling king 3

This restaurant is always full. Orders are normally taken outside by the waiters.

Then why the name? I’m not sure. Maybe it served dumplings once. Truth is, I don’t care. Do you?

It’s shoe sized restaurant serves amazing, authentic Chinese food at good prices. Service is relatively fast and friendly.

It’s so not fancy, but so good. So good that over the years so many people keep coming back and queuing outside for their turn.

Alpha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Pyrmont restaurants

There are quite a few Pyrmont Restaurants around but it never seems to be enough. Pyrmont locals say there are not enough “good” restaurants.

You see, “good” is a highly subjective word. What is good anyway? Surely for one suburb, Pyrmont has its fair share of famous, even 3 hats fancy restaurants. That’s still not enough?

I figured over the years, that “good” means a restaurant offers food good for our eyes (remember our eyes eat first), good for our taste buds, and good for our wallet. And of course, good service.

Are many of restaurants offer all the above around town? Not that many. But they do, they’ll be rewarded by repeating customers and years of striving business.

I don’t know how old exactly is Cafe XXII but it grabbed my attention 8 years ago, when I first moved to Pyrmont. Why? Because every time I walked pass, it seemed to be packed. Especially in the morning, people were queuing up for their coffee. “They must have good coffee.” That was my first thought, then I noticed they had hunky waiters with broad smiles. That helped too, obviously.

I never bothered to join the queue to get a coffee because patience is not one of my virtues. But I managed to go there for brunches and breakfast, dragging my friends to go with me every time. It never disappointed, all my friends liked the food and coffee there. Then a few years later, something seemed different. The place was less packed. People started to mention that Cafe XII changed owners. It doesn’t really matter, or does it? I never know. Guess I’m not that regular enough to tell. I don’t really care who owns the restaurant anyway, as long as the quality is still the same. As someone who’s always hungry and keen to try different places,  I moved around to try different pyrmont restaurants over the years.

When Sylwia suggested to catch up  for breakfast in Pyrmont last Saturday, Cafe XXII came to my mind. Can’t remember how long ago exactly I was there last time. But last Saturday was a perfect day to go. For two reasons: 1. I trust its breakfast quality. 2. It was cloudy and supposed to rain.

You might ask, what’s the weather got to do with your restaurant choice? Let me tell you why.

It goes back to the history of Pyrmont as a suburb. It short, Pyrmont used to be a slump. Yeah. The suburb is packed with dark little houses with tiny rooms and low ceilings catered to laborers who worked in the Sydney CBD. But don’t start to disdain those old little houses in Pyrmont now. Those ones with only 2 tiny rooms renovated inside, no parking will cost you close to 2 million dollars now. Long story short, Cafe XXII is located in one of those dark little sandstone houses and mainly facing South. In Australia, it means, there will never be any sun light in any of the rooms. Don’t get me wrong, I like the interior of XXII. It’s so charming with all rooms connected to each other, exposed brick walls and clever large open windows. But I like the sun more, so on a sunny weekend morning, my choice will be Zebra Lounge with beautiful water views.

But Cafe XXII, on the other hand, is perfect for a not so sunny day. It’s cozy + warm inside and you can hear the rain drops on its tin roof when it’s raining. The sound I kind of enjoy.

So there we went, being the first customers at 8am on a not so warm Saturday morning. What did we have? Coffee first, of course.

I ordered the Florentine: poached eggs, toasted muffin, smoked salmon, spinach & hollandaise. Here’s a snap:

Pyrmont restaurants

Sylwia ordered the Breakfast Stack: two free range poached eggs on sour dough, oven roasted tomato, haloumi, fresh avocado, rocket, basil pesto & aioli. Here’s another quick snap to give you an idea what it looked like: the plate on top. They tasted just as good as they looked.

Pyrmont restaurants

By the time our breakfast was ready, people and occasional dogs started to fill up the space slowly. As we sat there, enjoying our breakfast, it started to rain lightly outside, just as expected:).
Alpha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

health benefits of bananas

Do you like bananas? If you think bananas are boring, think again. They are so good for you!

Got to admit the reason I like bananas is because they are sweet. And soft, easy to chew.

You see I’m addicted to sugar and kind of lazy…

Got to share what I found on facebook: The 8 amazing benefits of bananas! Admittedly, I don’t smoke but there are definitely more reasons to have bananas more often now:).

benefits of bananas


Bananas supply proper carbohydrates necessary to replace the muscle glycogen ( muscle sugar) used.


High in potassium, banana help the body’s circulatory system deliver oxygen to the brain, helping maintain regular heartbeat and proper water balance.


Bananas contain vitamin B6. This vitamin regulates blood glucose levels and helps in times of stress and helps to suppress cranky moods.

Brain Power

Potassium – packed fruit helps learning because it makes the pupils more alert. Students find that they have more brain power and do better on exams when they eat bananas at breakfast and lunch.

Bower Health

Bananas are high in soluble fiber which helps stop constipation and helps to restore and maintain regular bower function

Increase Happiness

Bananas release a mood regulating substance called tryptophoan which is converted to serotonin in the brain and thus elevates mood and makes us happier.

Help Smokers Quit

Bananas contain B vintamins and other minerals that lessen the effects of nicotine withdrawal both phsically and psychologically.


Bananas are rich in iron too and can help individuals with anemia. Iron rich foods, such as bananas help stimulate production of hemoglobin in the blood.

Also found this smoothie recipe so I’m sharing it here too:

Creamy Banana & Avocado Smoothie Recipe

health benefits of bananas

Serves 2


(use organic ingredients where possible)

  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 avocado, stone and skin removed
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or any other milk)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon bee pollen
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (optional)
  • Handful of ice


Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed for half a minute until you reach a smooth consistency.

Well, I don’t have bee pollen (not even sure what it is) and vanilla paste but will put everything else and try it tomorrow morning!

Now back to you, do you have a great banana recipe to share?

10 Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Have one egg a day can not only help improve memory but also protect eyesight and loose weight.
That’s a hell lot of benefits. Eggs are loaded with good nutrition such as vitamins, protein and antioxidants. If you are running out of ideas of what to have for breakfast, it’s time to have a couple of boiled eggs, because it is so good for you! And no, eating a few eggs a day won’t increase your risk of heart disease. Here are 6 main health benefits of having eggs for breakfast:


1. The perfect protein.
The protein in eggs has the highest biological value – a measure of how well it supports your body’s protein needs of any food.
2. Make you feel full.
The combination of fats and protein means eggs are very satisfying. Eating one or two eggs for breakfast will keep you from getting hungry later in the morning, hence the next point:).
3.Help loose weight.
Having eggs for breakfast may help you loose weight by helping decrease your calorie intake for the whole day. Studies have shown that people have eggs for breakfast lost 56% more weight, compared to people who have carbohydrate meals for breakfast, people have eggs for breakfast have more energy too.

Check out these 10 foods that help you loose weight.
4. Improve memory.
Eggs are packed with riboflavin, folate, vitamins B6, B12, D and E, and iron. Having eggs help you improve memory and boost concentration.

6 Health Benefits Of Having Eggs For Breakfast
5. Help stay alert.
Study has shown that the proteins included in the eggs help our brain cells to be more alert and therefore, help us stay awake. A morning meal high in protein raised your brains’ tyrosine levels. This helps your brain produce neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and dopamine, which give you energy and make your feel awake and alert.
7. Good for eye health.
The yolk is a prime source of lutein and zeaxanthin—plus zinc, which also helps reduce your macular degeneration risk, according to Paul Dougherty, MD, medical director of Dougherty Laser Vision in Los Angeles. Eggs contain both of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. It has been shown that lutein and zeaxanthin from eggs is better absorbed by the body than from plant sources (like spinach and corn), making eggs an important contributor to overall intakes.So if you have to work in front of the computer for the whole morning, have eggs for breakfast!

A friend of mine organised a birthday dinner a couple of weeks ago at Sydney Newtown Hotel. Always keen to try something new, I went along since I’d never eaten at Newtown Hotel before.

For those of you who don’t know Sydney well, Newtown is a bohemian part of town. I would like to think the reason I don’t go Newtown very often is because it’s very hard to find parking there, not because I’m not hip enough;).

It was a cold and wet night, dinner was booked from 7pm. I arrived at 6.55pm and found nobody else in the group there. Instead of worrying the whole dinner thing was a joke, I started to look around and was impressed by its character. Pardon my phone snaps, but you got the idea.

3 Highlights Of Newtown Hotel Food Experience
3 Highlights Of Newtown Hotel Food Experience

Slowly, our group of people started to emerge. It was the traffic holding them back indeed. Looking out from the balcony, it was a river of steel (static cars) out there on the main street.

3 Highlights Of Newtown Hotel Food Experience

1. The bohemian atmosphere & deco.
It was stylishly dark inside and dotted with funky decorations everywhere. I’m sure there’s more to explore coming in another day. This is a picture of the main table for us before everyone arrived, because we had 20 something people, the other corner of the room was reserved for us as well.

3 Highlights Of Newtown Hotel Food Experience

2. Healthy selection of banquet menu.
It was a feast! Food seemed to keep coming, yet none of the them is your typical pub dish. Olives, Grilled haloumi, Braised green beans,Roasted spuds, Beetroot salad & Cabbage Salad! Doesn’t sound like a vegetarian restaurant so far? 🙂

But wait, there were big servings of coal roasted lamb and chicken for meet lovers too. Lamb was tender & tasty. Chicken was plentiful & all breast. I don’t do breast but a friend sitting opposite to me enjoyed it thoroughly – chicken breast is his favorite.

3 Highlights Of Newtown Hotel Food Experience

Photo of food served from Newtown Hotel website, I was too busy eating and chatting of course…

3. The wicket chocolate brownie!
The friend who loves chicken breast told me he’s not a desert person, but he would be always ready for this chocolate brownie.
Oh boy, how wicked was that chocolate brownie! If there were a second serving,  I would have devoured it with absolute pleasure again.

This is the Newtown Hotel banquet menu for 8 people or more:

3 Highlights Of Newtown Hotel Food Experience

It think it’s a terrific idea to have a group get together in NewTown Hotel. Will I come back again? You bet.
Alpha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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As a photographer, I reply on my eyes so much but don’t take care of my eyes enough. This blog post is a simple note on what to eat to retain our precious eyesight.

Research has shown that simple things like a healthy diet can play an important role in preserving vision.

Here are top 3 healthy food categories for eyes:

1. Dark green leafy vegetables

Such as kale, spinach, peas, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn and beans.

2. Omega03 fatty acids

Such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, trout, herring and sardines.

3. Low GI carbohydrates

Most fruit and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and wholegrain breads and legumes.

In general, eat dark green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit daily, fish two to three times a week and handful nuts each week.

There are a lot places offer casual cheese and wine tasting in Sydney and NSW regional areas.

So when Sylwia asked me if I’d like to go cheese and wine tasting with her in Pyrmont, my neighborhood, I thought it’ll be one of these “casual” things.

I  happily said yes because I love Sylwia’s company but warned her that I’m a cheap drunk… will be out after one full glass of wine.

We had dinner at my place before we set off for the cheese and wine tasting, a big dinner.

Because, you know. You just can’t go drinking with an empty stomach. Especially when you get drunk after one glass.

It was such a nice surprise that the cheese and wine tasting place was literally around the corner.

Oh I forgot to mention that I knew nothing about the details of this cheese and wine tasting event.It was totally researched and organized by Sylwia. I was filling in for a friend who couldn’t make it that night.

When we approached the entrance of the cheese and wine tasting event upstairs, I realized it was one of these “fancy” cheese and wine tasting in Sydney.

It was formally organized by the Sydney Wine Center. There’s a host, a presenter, a long table covered in white cotton table cloth. There were around 10 people sitting already, each with 5 wine glasses and a cheese plate in front of them.

The whole scene makes you feel like one of the house guests.

We took our seats. There were 2 booklets with information of the cheese and wine we were about to taste.

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“Learn, Taste, Appreciate”, says on both booklets. And I really did!

Trust me, it wasn’t the wine that made me so happy. Though maybe it did play a small part.

I’m so happy that I learned so much that night! We tried 1 campaign, 9 different kind of wine and their matching cheese.

Got to say some cheese and wine are made in heaven:). Where have I been all these years?

And why I had so much for dinner?

Out of all the wine we’ve tried, I liked the the wine no 2, White, Marc Bredif and no 6, Pinot Noir Burgunday the most. It’s not easy, coming from someone who thought she’s allergic to alcohol like me.

All the cheese are magnificent! Thoroughly enjoyed the last match we tried: Desert wine Mobazillac and the Roquefort blue cheese.

Sorry I don’t have a better picture for the delicious feast. You see, we were quite busy…

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Ok, this light sketch might be a classier reflection of this fine French Cheese & Wine Matching evening:)

Also happy to report: I wasn’t even that drunk, after finishing the whole plate of cheese.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to my future fine cheese and wine tasting in Sydney.

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Why Kobe Jones?

Because it’s in my neighborhood.

I Love Japanese food.

A friend of mine mentioned the name a few times. I think they offer 50% vouchers very often.

It was towards the end of summer when we went for dinner and windows were wide open. I don’t remember they had air conditioning on so the open view and flow of air were much appreciated.

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We tried the Summer Sunset menu and one by one the dished are served. Prawns, salmon, scallop, lobster meat, wagyu beef and crab pieces… everything sounded mouth watering , but…

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The presentation was really nice but the taste somehow couldn’t match the expectation of fine dinning & the price tag of $175 to go with it.

The dish we both enjoyed the most is this: Spicy Lobster Roll, it was nicely presented and delicious!

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Alpha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Alpha restaurant sydney

A group of us went to Alpha for a birthday celebration the other Saturday & had a great time catching up.

Because we went as a group for lunch, we were serviced the family style lunch menu that consists those dishes:

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 3.13.13 PM

Apart from great company, there are three positive points about Alpha that made the lunch so enjoyable.

  • The clever & elegant fit-out

I must say, to me the highlight of Alpha restaurant is how it has been designed. The high ceiling dinning room is decorated with large brown bird cage like, fishnet inspired hanging lights and a battered looking Greek inscribed wall. On the street front, the main white entrance to the dinning room is adjacent to a cafe with casual wooden tables and stools. The upper levels of the building again, have a kind of battered Grecian appearance. What a good mix of ancient Greek & modernism inside out. I don’t pretend to be a big fan of Greek food but I can come anytime, just to admire Alpha’s fit-out.

Alpha restaurant sydney

Mobile snaps of Alpha Restaurant Sydney



  • Lightness in flavor

None of the dishes on the 7 course lunch menu was packed with flavor but I much appreciated the lightness of food serviced at the Alpha restaurant. There’s an organic & healthy feel to all the dishes. Noting is too oily or salty. My personal favorites are the smoke eggplant dip and spinach pies.

  • Big servings

If you are hungry, you at in the right restaurant. The servings are huge & there’s plenty of food for everyone.

I love seafood so the only downside of the meal experience was missing out the opportunity to pick and try any Alpha’s seafood dish. However that gave me an excuse to go back one day, it’s my kind of place just to sit back and relax.
Alpha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

So I need to get my healthy food shopping list ready for 2014. If “You are what you eat” is true, I’ll be white rice and soy sauce. I’ve been living with my mum for the past year. And mum’s cooking consists of white rice, white flour and soy sauce in everything for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This year I’m going to “eat the rainbow”, not just black soy sauce and white rice. I’ll eat a broad mix of different colored fruit and vegetables to scoop up a good mix of antioxidants and other nutrients. The whole year round. This is for sure going to be a challenge as I can easily win “the most inconsistent person” title. Sticking to something all the time is just not in my blood naturally. But I’ll put this mission out there to make eating healthy food my habit for 2014, hopefully for life too.

Followed by my 16 healthy snack ideas, here’s my

Healthy Food Shopping List As A Start:

1. Salmon among other oily fish such as tuna, blue eye travealla, sardines, blue mackerel.

Healthy Food Shopping List salmonI’ll try to eat oily fish at least twice a week.

Why: keep heart healthy. Omega – 3s can help prevent the development of heart disease.

How: Grill salmon for dinner, raw sashimi.

2. Peaches

Why: Good for strengthening the skin, and fiber for improving bowel and heart health. Peaches also act as antioxidants which may help to prevent cancer.

How: Snack or salad meal

3. Yoghurt

Healthy Food Shopping List yoghurt

Why: Maintaining and building ( I know it’s a bit to late to build now:)) bone strength. Yoghurt is a fantastic source of protein and calcium. It can also help keeping healthy tummy bacteria.

How: Breakfast, snack or dessert.

4. Tomatoes

Healthy Food Shopping List tomatoes

Why: prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers.

How: snack on a punnet of cherry tomatoes, salad, stir fry with eggs, soup.

5. Blueberries, apples and prunes

Healthy Food Shopping List blueberriesWhy: Rich in antioxidant and delicious!

How: Snack, salad, eat with yoghurt for breakfast.

6. Citrus fruit

Healthy Food Shopping List citrus fruit

Why: A good source of vitamin C, B9, fiber and a range of protective antioxidants.

How: Snack or salad.

7. Cucumber:

Healthy Food Shopping List cumcumbers

Why: A beautifying food. High water content. They help to flush out toxins.

How: snack, salad

8. Celery

Healthy Food Shopping List celery


Why: Low-carbohydrate, protein. Helps to reduce high blood pressure.  Celery does not lose any nutritional value when cooked. Drinking celery juice throughout the day helps to curb your cravings for rich and sweet foods.

How: Celery juice, stir fry, salad.

9. Spinach:

Healthy Food Shopping List English Spinach

Why: High nutritional value and rich in antioxidants.

How: Steam, stir fry or soup.

10. Broccoli

Healthy Food Shopping List broccoli

Why: High levels of fiber and is a rich source of vitamin C.

How: Steam, stir fry.

Alright, I won’t loose my shopping list this time – it’s on the internet. What new habit do you want to have in year 2014?

Have you ever thought about health benefits of pistachios before? I haven’t until recently.

Health Benefits Of PistachiosLove Pistachios nuts. Tasty and wrapped in shells. That’s something addictive and comforting about eating pistachios. Besides, I’m not that super health conscious, calorie counting kind of girl. Even if pistachios are not very good for health, I might still keep eating them. But make no mistake, Pistachios actually have bags of nutritional benefits, according scientific research. I’m happy to report the ones I found most important:

5 Key Health Benefits Of Pistachios

Good for your eyes

Pistachios are the only nuts that contain reasonable amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants play an important role in protecting the eyes. They may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness among elderly.

Keeping Hormones balanced

Pistachios are especially rich in Vitamin B6, which is important for keeping hormones balanced and healthy. For the ones with problem periods, pistachios are a good option.

Low in Calories

Here’s some good news. Pistachios are considered the best nuts for your diet. Pistachio nut is dubbed the “skinny” nut because each has only three calories. The lowest-calorie nuts at 160 per ounce are almonds (23 nuts; 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat); cashews (16 to 18 nuts; 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat); and pistachios (49 nuts; 6 grams protein, 13 grams fat).

Good for your skin

Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol (contain about 23g per 100g). vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that offer protection from harmful oxygen-free radicals. Vitamin E helps skin retain moisture and is often added to sunscreens because it protects the skin against UVB damage.

Contain potassium and fibre

Pistachios contain postassium and fibre more than three times that supplied by the equivalent weigh of plums. fiber and Potassium are nutrients required by the human body to maintain optimal health. Fiber helps move solid waste easily from the body. Potassium helps conduct electricity in the body, plays a role in skeletal and muscle function, and maintains heart and lung function.

There are many other health benefits of pistachios but there’s no need for me to list them all, right? Oh wait. I forgot about the most important health benefit of pistachios: they make me happy. Out of all types of different nuts, pistachios are definitely my favorite. It’s even more fun to eat pistachios since I discovered Wonderful Pistachios.

Pistachios Range[1] Wonderful Pistachios  Sweet Chili, Salt & Pepper, Roasted & Salted and Unsalted.

Look at the packages, aren’t they stylish? It you judge nuts by the cover, they’ll certainly pass your test. Not to mention there are so many flavours to choose from – Sweet Chili, Salt & Pepper, Roasted & Salted and Unsalted. I personal like all these four flavours. With J’s help, it didn’t take much effort to finish a whole pack, very quickly.

Health Benefits Of Pistachios

If you like pistachios but are super strict with what you eat, then the roasted unsalted would be your choice.

I’m rushing to Coles (also available in Woolworths) to get more of those Wonderful Pistachios now. What is better for guests during this festive season?

When they come I’d bring drinks together with pistachios.

And at the second they started to snack on them, I’d say, “they are very good for you too. Merry Christmas.”

new shanhai restaurant ashfield

We’ve been regulars to New Shanghai restaurant in Ashfield for many years. New Shanghai Restaurant started out in my memory as this rather small, cramped restaurant that was in need of a lot of TLC. Chipped bowls and cups and almost non existent customer service. But we love their great food choice, the value for money and most importantly, their consistently delicious food. J used to be the only non-Asian customer eating in the restaurant 99.9% of the time. But he didn’t mind it at all: “It’s a good sign, you know. Food here must be really authentic.”

That’s true. New Shanghai restaurant in Ashfield has really tasty food… and cheap. Eating out in this Sydney inner west suburb is not expensive at all. There is a row of restaurants on that street serving traditional Shanghainese dishes at relatively cheap prices. We’ve tried every single one of them, but New Shanghai restaurant is the one that we keep going back to. They just cook better. We always order a bit of everything whenever we eat there. Why not:)? For 50$ two people can have a feast, even a doggy bag or two.

new shanhai restaurant ashfield


Stir fried bean spouts

Drunken chicken - Chicken soaked in Chinese wine with herb & spice

Drunken chicken – Chicken marinated in Chinese wine with herb & spice

We couldn’t remember its name for years. Every restaurant on that street has Shanghai in their names. And they all looked similar from the appearance. Believe me, it was quite hard to tell which is which. But New Shanghai Restaurant in Ashfield used to have a large glass window at the back of the restaurant showing staff working in the kitchen making buns and dumplings. That made it a bit easier for us to remember.


Newly renovated restaurant, still has big glass window on the side showing staff making dumplings.

You know what? Many people like us must have also remembered the good food or that big glass window at the back. Queues to get in New Shanghai restaurant got longer and longer. At times the waiting time was too much for us and we’d just go somewhere else. It’s been in the news lately, that a lot Sydney fine dinning restaurants went out of business in recent years. But don’t blame it solely the economy. Dinners are getting much smarter nowadays. Posh looking restaurants serving expensive, average food just won’t cut it any more. During the same period of time New Shanghai restaurant has opened a couple of more branches in Sydney. The original New Shanghai restaurant in Ashfield formally expanded its floor space and went through a full renovation last year.


Renovated interior, styled like a Chinese house in the old days.


Expended New Shanghai restaurant with new signs.

Even though New Shanghai Restaurant in Ashfield isn’t the closest to me, I still prefer eating at New Shanghai Ashfield simply because it has the biggest menu. There are more tasty dishes available in New Shanghai ashfield, like Fujian fried rice, pork and egg congee, Beijing style pork spare ribs. Yes, that’s right, New Shanghai Ashfield doesn’t just serve Shanghainese dishes.

Ashfield New Shanghai Restaurant Address:

273 Liverpool Rd
Ashfield, NSW 2131


Favorite dishes of all time:

  • Drunken chicken – Chicken marinated in Chinese wine with herbs & spices
  • Hot, spicy & sour soup with shredded pork and bean curd
  • Stir fried sting bean with dried shrimps & soy sauce
  • Pan Fried pork buns
  • Steamed mini pork buns
  • Beijing style pork spare ribs

I’ve put a few of our favorite dishes in bullet points rather than explaining the taste and look in details. Thinking or writing about these yummy, unpretentious dishes makes me hungry. All I can say is that I could finish the whole plate of Drunken chicken(refer to 3 picture from the top) less the skin all by myself, very quickly. You’ll just have to go and find out how good it is yourself.

New Shanghai on Urbanspoon

A few years ago, some one asked me this question: “What does Australia Day mean to you?” Immediately I replied: “ A day off.” Blunt, but these were words of truth from an exhausted employee.

On a serious note though, I always look forward to Australia Day, not merely because it is a public holiday. Australia Day to me is all about relaxation and celebration.

Australia Day is on January 26 and commemorates the establishment of the first settlement at port Jackson, now part of Sydney, in 1788.

There are a list of typical Aussie things to do on the Australia Day such as:

Have a picnic in the park.
Have a cold beer or a few.
Have an Australia Day BBQ.
Watch the Cricket.

If you want to go out and about, I would highly recommend these 3 things to do On the Australia Day in Sydney even if you are just in town for a short visit.

  • Go to The Australia Day Carnivale

Sydney hosted its first motoring celebration on Australia Day in 1986. Since then Australia Day Carnivale has been a tradition on this special day. Not interested in cars? But those are NOT just ordinary cars.  One of the largest vehicle displays in the southern hemisphere, Australia Day Carnivale offers a large range of vintage and classic cars, high performance and luxury vehicles vintage buses and trucks for show. Have a look, are they the coolest (my mobile phone camera was smudged as usual. Note to self: Remember to wipe the lens before taking photos).

Australia Day Carnivale

Super cars

Australia Day Carnival

While I was snapping with my phone camera, J delved into great details:

bbk (1 of 1)

Location: Macquarie St (Bridge St to Hyde Park), College St

Time: 10am – 5 pm

  • Have The Most Authentic/Tasty Laksa In Sydney

What? Having Laksa on Australia Day? Yes. Why not :). Australia is a multicultural country. Having a bowl of Laksa on Australia Day might be the best way to embrace it;). Maylay -Chinese Takeaway has the reputation of have Sydney’s Best Laksa (Sydney Morning Herald). It is only minutes away from the Australia Day Carnivale. Lucky for us, it is open on Saturday and this public holiday. The menu was full of tempting options and the most expensive dish was only $12.5. Of course, there were lots of people in the restaurant. Waning: Don’t follow others to put lots of that chilly source in your soup. It (the chilly source) is hot stuff.


Eat in – King Prawn Laksa

Shop 1, 50-58 Hunter St, Sydney NSW 2000
(Closest intersection Bligh St/ Castlereagh St.)

  • Experience The Darling Harbor Spectacular

The Darling Harbor Australia Day Spectacular is a stunning multimedia symphony of light and music, culminating in a fireworks extravaganza over Cockle Bay, Darling Harbor. It runs from 7pam  – 9pm on the day. The night was nothing short of spectacular. Being a local resident, I have never seen Darling Harbor so packed. Every inch of Darling Harbor was covered by people. There was no point to take any photos of the extraordinary fireworks of the night unless  you have a special reserved spot allowing enough space for a tripod. I don’t think any camera could really capture the moment to its full extend. All I can say is Music + Fireworks on water + Light +cheering crowd = Magical moments.

Next time if someone asks me what does Australia Day mean to me, I might just say: Magic.




Well, that’s the theory.

Looks like I need to eat more Oysters.

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A few years ago, I went to this fancy restaurant in Toronto for business dinner with a group of people from all over the world. The restaurant staff came to our table, specially recommended “Australia Barramundi and red wine from south Australia”. I couldn’t help but laugh inside. Yep, as if I flew all the way from Sydney Australia to Canada for Australia Barramundi and wine. But lets’s say that recommendation make me a little proud of being an adopted Australian.

A few days ago, I went to Four Points Darling Harbor with a group of friends. From the a la carte menu I picked the Jewish. That piece of fish was somehow half raw. As I was wondering if they have invented a new way of cooking, my friend complained.

That led me to this recipe. I decided to cook Barramundi at home, the Australian way!

For the record, I refuse to spend too much time cooking cause I’m kind of lazy. Trust me, this dish was super easy to cook.

Main Ingredients, serve for 2 people:
  • 2 Australian Barramundi portions, skin on
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon, cut into wedges
  • Mixed salad leaves

How to make Tomato Caper Vinaigrette:

  • 1 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoons baby capers
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper  to taste
Ready to cook? Follow the simply steps:
  1. Combine tomatoes, capers, parsley, vinegar/lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add salt and pepper, mix and set aside.
  2. Pat fish dry with paper towel, add a small amount of oil, salt and pepper to the skin side only.
  3. Using a non-stick fry pan cook fish skin side down on a medium high heat for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to hold fish sown for 30 seconds to ensure the skin is in contact with the fry pan.
  4. Turn fish and continue cooking on  a medium heat until just cooked.
  5. Serve fish with mixed salad leaves and a wedge of lemon. Spoon tomato caper vinaigrette over the top of the fish.
That night J and I fished all the Barramundi, feeling full and content.